Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Searching for Simplicity

Actually, this may be "searching for a good definition of simplicity."

My efforts at simplicity often seem thwarted by life events. Having temporary custody of a kid has not simplified my life on so many levels. It has added an hour commute each way to and from work, added a second home, made my time and schedule dependent on another human being, and brought me into the family court system. There are many other complicating factors that I won't go into.

On the other hand, perhaps it HAS simplified my life in other ways. I'm learning about prioritizing the needs of other humans over my workaholic tendencies. I'm learning to get work done at work and during regular work hours rather than taking it home and working so many nights and weekends. My job still includes more odd hours and wierd duties than many other jobs, but these have been somewhat reinterpreted as "flexibility" and my boss is OK with that.

I'm learning about living in the moment and connecting with other humans even when it is difficult (see above "family court system"), about communicating with compassion or at least in a dispassionate manner, and about being confident in my own actions and decisions.

Taking on someone else's kid for a while has been a life changing experience and I can see how it has changed the perception of me in my community and among my friends and family. Not all think it is a great thing to be doing, but most do. The community I prefer to live in has many families created through non-birth methods. Kids and adults circulate through households as they need to. It's interesting to see how those who know about my current kid have changed their opinion of me and how it is a point of connection in the community.

So what is simplicity?
I had been searching for material and financial simplicity (deflating my lifestyle, getting rid of things).
I was also working on finding emotional simplicity but much of that was through disengaging with complicated relationships.
Now I'm seeing that engaging in the complicated relationships and processes can eventually lead to disengaging from things that don't matter as much as other humans do.

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